Vancouver-to-Vancouver rail link is permanent

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A temporary Amtrak train that offers single-day service from Vancouver USA to Vancouver, B.C., has been made permanent, the Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office announced Tuesday. The pilot project, in place on Amtrak’s Cascades route since 2009, had been set to end Oct. 31.

Amtrak made the move largely because of a decision by the Canadian government to waive a proposed $1,500-per-day inspection fee. The faster service between the two Vancouvers, made possible by the addition of a second Cascades train, also enjoyed “immense popularity,” according to the tourism office.

From July 2010 to the end of June, more than 230,000 passengers rode the second Cascades train, Amtrak said. Of those, almost 30,000 crossed the border into Canada.

The addition of the second Cascades train created single-day service from here to Canada for the first time. Previously, passengers who boarded south of Seattle had to stay overnight there or catch a bus the rest of the way to Canada.

The Cascades train leaves British Columbia at 6:40 a.m. and arrives in Vancouver, Wash., at 2:25 p.m. Riders can also leave Vancouver, Wash., at 3:05 p.m. and get to Vancouver, B.C., at 10:50 p.m.